Optus, the second-largest mobile operator in Australia, detailed plans to begin connecting its first 5G customers through a fixed wireless access service.
In a statement, the operator said three sites are already live (two in suburbs of capital city Canberra; one in a suburb of Sydney) and it aims to light another 47 across the country by March.
Over the following 12 months, it plans to expand the network to 1,200 sites.
CEO Allen Lew said the announcement of Optus’ 5G Home Broadband service is “an historic day” for the operator. The service will offer unlimited data for AUD70 ($51) per month at a rate of 50Mb/s, with customers able to cancel their contract without fees in the event such download speeds aren’t delivered.
Lew said Optus will add 5G sites in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney over the coming months: the first 50 5G sites will cover suburbs and the operator will “open the service up to more customers and more locations as more devices are released and our 5G cells continue to roll-out.”
Nokia is supplying the 5G RAN and customer premise equipment, which in this case takes the form of a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Lew said Optus’ multi-year 5G network build would include upgrading and adding new mobile sites, while densifying the network with small cells to increase capacity and speed in highly populated inner-city locations.
He said the operator is working with a range of smartphone manufacturers and will announce details about 5G smartphone availability and plans in the future.Subscribe to our daily newsletter